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Posts from the ‘Manayunk Restructure’ Category

The New Evangelization – How I REALLY Feel

In a speech that he gave in Indiana on the eve of a Fortnight for Freedom, Archbishop Chaput gave his perspective on Roman Catholicism in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He claimed that, for the second time in history, Philadelphia is “mission territory.”

I could not agree with him more.

An article from “Rev. Know-It-All” (the alter ego of Fr. Richard Simon, Pastor of St. Lambert Parish in Skokie, IL.) encapsulates the frustration that I have felt more and more as a priest/Assistant Pastor/Newman Chaplain/Pastor/Parochial Administrator/school teacher/School Minister/Rector over the past 17 years. “It ain’t pretty” but is does “resonate” with me and, I am sure, many other priests in Philadelphia.

Nevertheless, I also see significant signs of hope. Many of the associations and organizations in my “favorites” section were founded and are run by competent, prayerful, creative, happy, hopeful lay people. Most of these organizations  did not even exist 10 years ago.

Ok, so we’re mission territory. So we have a lot to do. So what. If we can continue to gather men and women like the ones found in the organizations found in my favorites section to the task, we’ll do better than fine. We’ll do exceptionally well.

Manayunk Reconfiguration Part 2 – A Philly Priest’s Perspective

As Archbishop Chaput mentioned recently, there is not one area of the archdiocese that is not under stress at this moment. He also provides direction, a vision and, therefore, a sense of hope that things are improving

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You Can Get There From Here – Mystics and the Manayunk Reconfiguration

Father Nicola Bux is Professor of Eastern Liturgy at Bari and Consultor of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the Causes of Saints, for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as well as of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. He posted some thoughts in an article about the Easter Season posted earlier on Zenit entitled, “When to Celebrate? The Liturgical Season.”

In the article, Fr. Bux states, “…it is crucial to understand the concept of memory to understand the liturgical season: it does not mean a recalling of the past but man’s capacity, given by God, to understand in unity today the past and the future. In fact, a man who loses his memory, not only forgets the past, but does not understand what he is in the present, and much less is he able to project himself in the future.” [Emphasis mine]

Over the past two months, I have walked a pilgrimage with the people of the Parish of St. Lucy and the Parish of St. Mary of the Assumption.  Both will be celebrating their respective final Masses on July 1, 2012 as the parishes are slated to close in light of the first phase of parish reconfigurations of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  To assist in the transition, we held two off-site retreats, one focusing on “Spiritual Exile” and one on “What to do When the Church Disappoints You.” In addition we had several liturgical events commemorating the sacraments that had been celebrated over the decades in both churches.  It was felt that these events would address the emotional and spiritual needs of the parishioners and the need to celebrate the magnificent past of our parishes in Manayunk. Their history is storied,  proud, long, rich in tradition, deep in faith and service to community, city and country.

But this is NOT merely about history. We are a liturgical people! And liturgy takes the past – and makes it present, here and now. The “today” element of our faith community and liturgical celebrations have huge implications. We cannot become stuck in nostalgia. That becomes denial and it’s unhealthy and can even become destructive. Something like… “Oh it was so GREAT back then. It will never be the same” … can lead to … “What’s the use of doing anything further. We can just stop now.”

We need an “Easter” in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and perhaps that Easter can start in a place like Manayunk.

God has something for US to do, NOW, HERE, in THIS place!  The “today” element gives hope because the activities that we must enter into TODAY provide hope because the point to a future!

As I stated in a previous post, the world is not only looking for “spirituality,” it’s looking for “mystics.” Mystics become mystics because they have experienced the Cross. The good people of Manayunk have certainly carried, and continue to bear, the Cross of Jesus Christ in their lives, in their hearts, in their homes, in their places of works, among family and friends.  We might not have become mystics but we are certainly doing what must be done to answer a “Universal Call to Holiness.” And maybe we do have mystics in our midst. Not they mystics of the past – they’ve died. We need mystics of today!

Manayunk Reconfiguration – Post Announcement Thoughts 1

A spiritual look at parish reconfiguration in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

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Myths to Give Up About the Catholic Church

The truth myth is that we are in charge. We're not in charge. The Lord is. It's his plan and he's going to continue to reveal what the plan is. And as we figure it out, we will offer it to America and to the world.

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Manayunk Reconfiguration: My Initial Thoughts

Last night as I informed both parish councils of the closure, and I could not have been more touched by the kindness, graciousness and concern on the part of my parish council and the parishioners at large. Every priest should be so fortunate.

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